Their fans had to wait six long years for the arrival of a new album by American metal act Prong. Not only because of the pandemic with its countless uncertainties and upheavals but also because of a number of pleasant events in the private life of singer and guitarist Tommy Victor. But now Prong are back with a real bang: Their latest offering, ‘State Of Emergency’, has turned into the fascinating recording we had all hoped for, with the usual irrepressible energy of a group that has been at the forefront of the metal scene since the mid-eighties, and with lots of ideas that couldn’t be more typical of this band: “It’s a very ‘Prong’ record. I think it’s totally genre-transcending and definitely ignores what’s going on out there these days,” band founder Victor outlines the stylistic direction of the eleven songs. Commenting on his artistic approach, he says: “I like all kinds of music. This record totally reflects that because it covers lots of different angles. At the same time, ‘State Of Emergency’ is very guitar-oriented and a typical example of my style which consists of a blend of punk, metal, post-punk noise, some doom, blues and thrash, with some pretty straightforward vocals. All in all, there’s an aggressive East Coast flair to the album.” ‘State Of Emergency’ will be available on Steamhammer/SPV from 6 October 2023 on CD, LP and for digital download. The singles ‘Non Existence’ (3 August 2023) and ‘The Descent’ (6 September 2023) will be out ahead of the album release. A major European tour has been scheduled for August, but more about that later.
First of all, let’s talk about the songs Tommy Victor recorded together with producer Steve Evetts (Sepultura, The Dillinger Escape Plan, among others). These are tracks that impress all the way with their intensity and diverse style. The furioso ‘Breaking Point’ with its catchy guitars and aggressive vocal theme would probably have felt at home on ‘Cleansing’, while the title track, marked by a heavy groove and NY hardcore flair, sounds like something from the ‘Beg To Differ’ era. Victor comments: “‘Non-Existence’ with its techno-style noise guitar that’s omnipresent on this album is a bit like my retrospective glance at ‘Rude Awakening’.” The new album surprises on the post-punk track ‘Disconnected’ and especially on ‘Back (NYC)’, which has Victor say: “To me it’s as if Jimmy Page wrote a song playing through Dimebag’s amplifier, with Henry Rollins singing. Kind of a weird experiment for sure!”
The album closes with the Rush cover ‘Working Man’: “Rush was the first power trio I ever saw live and I was blown away by them. Working Man is so simple and it’s so heavy. I also love the lyric. I thought it would be great tuned down a bit and slowed down, and I think we nailed it.”
Finally, two things deserve to be mentioned: First of all, Tommy Victor enthuses on the cover artwork courtesy of Marcelo Vasco: “It’s by far the best Prong artwork ever. Marcelo completely got the idea of the controlling power that mass media have over our existence and brought that out visually. It’s an in incredible work of art!” And secondly, as early as August 2023, Prong will embark on a headlining tour and are also set to tour with Life Of Agony in November. So their fans are in for a hot autumn!